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July 24, 2014 7:18 am

EDITORIAL: Remember Stringer by naming football field in his honor

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs up to the life of coach Jim Stringer.

The Powell community lost the husband, father, brother, son, friend, teacher and football coach Friday morning. While the community feels shock and deep pain at the premature death of Stringer, who was just 44, we could only imagine the sense of loss his wife, son and twin daughters are experiencing. The primary comfort that the Powell community can offer them is the respect and appreciation thousands felt for Jim Stringer.

He was a big man in many ways, in stature, in accomplishment and in the way he guided young people, both his students and players, in the classroom and on the gridiron. Stringer is a man many people will remember for the rest of their lives.

That’s why we recommend saluting him by naming the field at Panther Stadium in his honor. We feel hundreds of Powell High School football players would play with a little more passion if they ran onto the Coach Jim Stringer Field to compete for his team.

He certainly earned it, leading the Panthers to four state titles, including three in his final seasons. He won his final 27 games and was last seen on the football field as a state champion coach. We can’t imagine a better person to honor in such a fashion.

A huge throng will gather at the stadium today (Thursday) for a memorial service. Wednesday night, his players lit a fiery P in his honor, carrying on a pre-game ritual that is part of football and small-town culture. Naming something for a person who accomplished a great deal is another tradition we support, and the idea of Coach Jim Stringer Field fits like a pair of snugly knotted football spikes.

It’s something our school district leaders should consider announcing soon, perhaps at the start of the football season or before kickoff in the home opener.

Thumbs down to the theft of campaign signs.

We are hearing reports that some signs are being removed from their spots on lawns and street corners in the weeks preceding the Aug. 19 primary. It’s an old and unfortunate American tradition and one we’d like to see come to a halt.

It’s also an affront to the tradition of fair play and free speech. In this country, we don’t try to squelch our political rivals, nor do we seek to silence them by stealing their signs. Whoever is doing this, either as a form of political censorship or as a witless prank, is breaking the law.

If you are doing it, stop before you are caught. If you see someone do it, or know someone who did it, turn them in. Let another fine American tradition serve its function and let’s prosecute and penalize these political pilferers.

Thumbs up to the life and career of James Garner.

Garner, who died Saturday at 86 after several years out of the spotlight due to declining health, was one of the most successful American actors of all time. The tall, ruggedly handsome and quick-witted Oklahoma native starred in two legendary TV series, “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files,” for which he won an Emmy. Garner also made his mark on the big screen, appearing in such wonderful films as “The Great Escape,” “The Americanization of Emily” — his personal favorite — and “Murphy’s Romance,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar, as well as dozens more.

Garner also appeared on stage, did TV commercials. competed in auto races and served his country during the Korean War. He was wounded and twice received the Purple Heart, although with typical grace and modesty, he kept quiet abut his personal heroism.

What millions of fans across the world appreciated, and will miss, was James Garner’s smooth style, his flawless sense of light comedy and the intelligence and decency that came through no matter what role he was playing.

2 comments

  • Comment Link July 26, 2014 10:22 pm posted by Peggy Stringer

    I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that Jim and all of my family has received. I would love to see the football field named in his honor. He was so very proud of it and he took great pains to keep it perfectly in tact. Thank you Powell Tribune for your recommendation, I certainly hope our school district leaders will consider this as I too believe he has earned it. His accomplishments have been so very many.

  • Comment Link July 31, 2014 8:30 am posted by Steve Moseley

    Hear! Hear!

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